Category Archives: Recovery

Attention Whore

 

81B9D6F8-5A4C-4E51-AD79-CE6AE3102EF8When a person comes from a place of emotional neglect in childhood it’s beyond painful.  One’s basic needs for emotional sustenance, a sense of well-being, feeling  loved and safe were not ensured.  So that deep scar, carries over into adulthood if not addressed.

I definitely had a lot of emotional neglect in childhood.  My parents were not mean people by any stretch.  However, I unwittingly became the invisible child because one of my step-siblings was a young sociopath in the making.

As a boy, he was labeled with “conduct disorder.”  There was always some podunk police officer showing up at our house to let my parents know he was in trouble again.

The other two step-siblings of mine were “problem children” as well because of extreme learning disabilities and needed a lot of time and energy.   My mom spent hours doing educational advocacy so they could have any chance at having academic success.

I became the invisible child.    I was the kid who got straight A’s, the one my parents figured didn’t need any help because I was succeeding.  However, I was dying on the inside all the while, wishing they would stop long enough to hug me, tell me how proud they were of me, sit and help me do my homework even if I didn’t need it; hell just have my mom sit down next to me and watch me do my homework, tell me I was a cute girl ….something, anything.

Things went from bad to worse over the years.   More police involvement with my step-brother, more arrests, even prison time for him, my parents divorced, our house was sold.

Time passed.

I found myself involved in relationships throughout my adulthood searching for that attention I never got.   Ironically, from men who weren’t capable of giving it to me.  I just didn’t realize it at the time.

That was perhaps the cruelest twist.   See, I was ignorant before I went into psychotherapy years ago.  I didn’t realize that the  complex trauma I had endured as a child, primed me to seek out and replicate the very same neglect and abuse…. to be re-victimized.

I remember one of my first abusive relationships, the guy saying,”you’re a total attention whore!” At the time he had said it, I had asked for more affection from him.  I wanted to hold hands sometimes, I wanted to hug him and have it just stay being a nice warm hug.  Not have it not lead to him wanting to push my head down to make me give him a blowjob.  I wanted affection, not just a purely sexually based relationship.

His response? I was too intense, too needy, clingy, high-maintenance.   That I was too insecure.  That I wanted too much.  “That” guy? well that guy turned out to be the sexual-sadist-sociopath who has no conscience.

Yeah, okay but I’m too intense and needy….

You know now that I think about it? I think it’s pretty normal to want to feel loved, safe, attractive, validated. Especially after not having had enough as a child and teen.

It is unhealthy to expect one’s partner to the be the primary source of one’s emotional well being, that needs to come from within.

That said, stop going to the hardware store for milk.

 


Truth

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Re-read that again.  And again.   A few times.   Until it becomes real for you.  You’re worth it.  ❤️


Clowns scare me

The elephants smell bad.  The food makes me sick.  The port-o- potties always lean like the tower of Pisa and I fear they are going to tip and fall whilst I am inside them.

I always end up sitting on that unknown “something sticky” on those bench seats.

Isn’t  it ironic though, that lately my life feels like it’s become a three-ring circus.

I’ve got this recovery thing going on in the main ring.  Which includes my shrink , Lee and my BFF, Tiffany.

In ring number two is the old Gypsy woman Maleva, from 1941 film The Wolf Man , who seems to whisper for me to grab her pentagram necklace for protection because a Narcissist, “the wolf” is always an imminent threat.  As she yammers her famous line,

“even a man who is pure at heart and says his prayers at night, can become a wolf when the wolfbane blooms and the Autumn moon is  bright.” 

Stupid gypsy,  I went on a chat forum where garlic and charms can’t be seen and he bit me, and what’s more, part of me is liking his bite.

Then in a third ring there’s me trying to balance it all 10,000 feet up on a high-wire  without any safety net below.   Half of me teeters left, intoxicated by the wolf’s advances, the other half teeters right, recoiling as if to touching a hot pan on a stove.

BUT EVERYTHING IS WRONG.

Tiffany knows everything about me, we stay on the phone for hours during the week sharing our journey  together.   Lee knows little.  I fear no judgment from Tiff.  She’s made the same mistakes I have.   Lee, there is a formality.  I have never seen her teeter, much less free-fall.  How can she help me? How can she teach me?

I think my trust issues with people are deeper than I thought.  I can even trust my own damn shrink.  Now that’s some kind of special right there.

This is scaring me, what is going on inside me….Lee pokes around too much with asking me what I’m feeling about this, or that, or the other thing.  WTF? I feel like I’m being interrogated at times.  “How did you feel when you showed  me the photo of the gun up your snatch?”    I’m like .... “I didn’t feel anything.”  Was I supposed to feel something about it?    I don’t know what I’m supposed to be feeling, am I supposed to have specific  feelings? Oh shit ! Well I’m not.  Now I’m getting anxious that I’m not having feelings about something that I’m probably supposed be having feelings about.

When I let people into my real world, if I feel they get too close to me, I tend to run.  Run from safety.  I tend to sabotage things.  Sometimes unconsciously, sometimes knowingly.   I believe my shrink may be able to help me.  At other more times, I feel she can’t do squat to help me.  Right now I just want to be done with therapy.  I feel like it’s a dead end.  I feel it’s useless.  Other than sharing anecdotes and trying to make Lee laugh, I feel like I’m not working towards any thing.

At least with my ex-Narc, each week I was working on lessons.  How to give head, how to deep throat, how to rim, how to take the cane, the whip, the paddle et cetera.  There was progress but I digress..

I don’t know what’s going on with me right now.  So I have returned to what is familiar.  Those old circus clowns.  They scare me, sure they can hurt me.  But they are a swamp I know well.  I know every inch of that mother fucking swamp.   But it’s a familiar swamp.   I know how it reacts, and how to react to it.  The type of pain that lays beneath its murky waters.


Great Steel Gates

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Intellectualization and humor are finely tuned defense mechanisms serving to protect me from things.  Things which even hint at the scar tissue I carry from earlier battles suffered in life.

Sometimes though, I wish someone knew me well enough to know I’m using them and break out the C4.

#scaredbehindsmiles


Kool-Aid Jones: from Pulpit to Pinterest

You better believe that if renowned narcissist Jim Jones were alive and well today, he’d be reaching far more numbers of vulnerable and impressionable minds by writing a blog from an upscale flat in London than he ever did in the jungles of Guyana.  He’d still have his loyal following of devotee’s with their troubled pasts of trauma, broken childhoods, broken marriages, and broken dreams.  He would naturally espouse to have vast knowledge on how to remedy all that ails them.  He would peddle his special brand of elixir or “how-to” and offer to turn their lives from misery to sanctity and freedom.  All that he would ask is that they just put their faith and trust in him, their fearless and self-ascribed Messiah .

Like any good narcissist, he seeks unlimited success/power/love, admiration.  He has a grandiose self-worth and believes himself superior to others.  He has a lack of empathy well-hidden behind a seamless veneer of charm and charisma.  Has a sense of entitlement and possesses interpersonal exploitative behaviors. Only Jones knows to prey upon women with childhood trauma histories, poor boundaries, the lost sorts, all of them looking for anyone to care about them.  He knows precisely  how to deliver that illusion.

In today’s day and age vampires have adapted.  They have no need to fear the daylight, for there are dark sunglasses and sunscreen.   So too, the modern-day Jones would dispense his Kool-Aid differently than his predecessor.   The pen has always been mightier than the sword, or in this case, the cyanide.   Our modern-day Jones would trade preaching for blogging.  He would use volumes of facts about narcissism and offer to help others gain “understanding”.    Jones may perhaps don the Scarlet Letter and admit publicly to being a narcissist.  This would do two things.  One, through his blog he would both normalize and desensitize the topic of malignant narcissism as well as foster a cheerleading team for himself.  Secondly, through describing his own personal experience of being a narcissist  in a “confessional” style blog, he appears honest to readers; even trustworthy.  He could ensnare victims by creating an online support group via the comment section of his blog and most of them would naïvely walk into it and never seeing it for its dark potential.   His harem, a coterie of would be stand-ins vying for place as his next primary source.  For they see him as “reformed.”

The real coterie’s purpose to him? anything he wants.  Since many subscribers have their profile linked to their social media, at his disposal are their emails, photos, and sometimes phone numbers.   He would most likely spend hours writing, cultivating, and pruning his blog as it would be no doubt a great source of ready-to-eat supply.     Simply put, narc heaven.

By the time our Kool-Aid Jones blog gets into the minds of subscribers, his words have already become like a slow-acting poison eating away at what’s left of their own self-confidence.   Mesmerizing them, paralyzing them to stay close to him for advice, dare they look right when they might look left.   After all, he loves feeling omnipotent, loves their adulation.  For only he can solve their queries.  He triggers the very trauma bonds in their early histories from which they’ve been trying to escape.

Wait, he seems so benign our Kool-Aid Jones, is there really a need for anyone to run?


Puppet

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I try and pinpoint the exact moment when I realised that my emotional movement was being controlled by his dark choreography.   I wasn’t aware until the merciless incessant tugging, left me tangled in the cords, unable to move.

It was then I knew, I was dancing for the Devil.

Liberation first begins with the realization one is captive.

I cut the strings.

I am bound no more.

To all the girls and boys out there who have become insidiously ensnared.

Freedom is within your reach….it always has been.


Flashback

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3…..2…..1….. 

 

heart races

stomach drops

blood runs cold

it’s happening again!

eyes shut tight

paralyzed with terror.

please not here, not now.

 

I’m teetering

400 miles up

on this tight rope

I’m walking.

no one

can hear me scream

but me. 

 

1…..2…..3……

 

don’t say a word

just breathe

in and out.

act normally

open your eyes

touch the ground

it’s not happening.

 

Ghosts look so very real.

Hard to discern

no imminent harm

in pursuit of me.

After all these years,

they still besiege me,

unexpextedly.

 

 


In plain sight

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I stand there before You,
aching for Your
love.

Your affection.

Your approval.

i can’t believe after all this time,
You’ve
never looked at me.

in my pig tails and patent leather
shoes
,
standing in the doorway
wistful and willing.

but You cannot see me.

for i am hiding behind the wallpaper
where all
little girls hide,
the ones who survived.

layers upon layers cover me
redecorated as
years pass,
yet i remain forever unchanged.

frozen in time
beneath this woman
veneer.
waiting and hoping,
will you take me home?


Of Mice and Monsters X

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Several years after I was out of the relationship with my ex, my mother received a phone call from a detective in Boston wanting to know if I was alive.

My mom told him that I was.  He asked when the last time we had spoken.  She had told him it was about a week prior.  He explained that he needed confirmation from me that I was indeed alive and to contact him at the phone number he provided.  He explained that my ex had tried to developed a photograph at a local pharmacy which depicted a naked woman hanging from a tree by her wrists, bound, blind-folded, ball-gagged, and severely beaten.   He claimed that the woman in the photo was me.

My mother was of course shocked but told me to call the detective.  I did not believe it was the cops, I thought it may have been him posing as a police officer.  Instead, I called the police department’s main number myself and asked for said detective.  The story checked out.   I was asked to come down to the police station to verify who I was, and that I was alive.

I took the ride and met the detective.  He showed me the photo and I verified my identity.  He asked me if what happened in the photo was consensual.  I said that it was.   The detective seemed taken aback.    I did tell him at that time I wanted the photo destroyed and that was confused to me as to why my ex had been developing it in the first place since it had been years since we had split up.

The officer assured me that he would make sure he had put the fear of God in my ex about distributing a photo like this and the implications it would have for him if he didn’t destroy it.

As to why my ex had kept it all those years?  Like many Sociopaths, particularly those who are sexual sadists, most acquire trophies from their victims.  This photo of me may be a trophy of his handiwork.  He can re-live that day over and over again by looking at it.

That was the last I heard of him until two months ago when I received a Facebook friends request, which I promptly deleted.

I often read other blogs here on WordPress of both victims of Narcissism as well as a few Narcissists themselves.  I have been watching Sam Vatkin’s videos on YouTube for years. I also have been watching Richard Grannon on YouTube for near as long as well.

It would seem that I am doing a good job of staying no contact, despite the two hoovers he sent my way.   One came 1.5 years after he discarded me, the other five years later.   I am left with a morbid curiosity as to why he ever hoovered me so far out after discarding me.   I may well never know.

What I do know is that there is life after a Narcissistic Sociopath.   I eventually did go on to meet a new guy.   It’s only when one door closes they say that another can open.


Of Mice and Monsters VIIII

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The last thing I asked him as I carried my belongings to my car from his house was,

” So you would rather choose a life of paying for prostitutes, going to gangbangs, having NSA sex with people from craigslist, and swinging,  than being with me?

To which he answered,

” well I’m not sure I’d phrase it that way but yes .”

I’m not sure how many weeks it was after I pulled out of his driveway that I just couldn’t get him off my mind.  Good, bad, or worse you don’t spend five years with someone and then have it end just in a blink without being in a crap ton of pain.  It’s a loss.  Even if it was fake on his end, all the feelings had been real on mine.

He hadn’t called me, hadn’t emailed me, hadn’t texted me.  It was like I had never even existed. It was like all the ‘I love you’s he had told me was a lie. My mind could understand but my heart wouldn’t accept the truth.

I wanted answers as to why….closure, I desperately needed closure so I sent him an email. I asked him if he missed me and if he ever thought about me.

He did respond and said he would always love me but that I just didn’t fit into his life at this time.

I wrote back again asking if we could just be friends. If I would be able to just clean his house? Mow his lawn? I couldn’t imagine not having some small piece of him . The gaping hole in my heart that he occupied was just too deep. I didn’t feel strong enough to survive the loss.

He answered without hesitation, no.

When I wrote back insisting that I must mean something to him? He wrote back that I was becoming a nuisance and that if I ever contacted him again that he would call the police.

I was horrified.  Felt betrayed.  Five years of caring for him.  What happened to him hanging on my every word so early on? What happened to him teaching me every sexual move I knew?

At first I went numb.  Then after weeks of just lying round in my pajamas like a uniform, I did a google search for support groups for women who had been victims of abuse. I put in keywords silence, crazy, mood swings, abuse, sex addiction and found Narcissism.

Then I dig further and found online support groups through Facebook and joined. They don’t show up in your public groups list so your friends and family don’t know your in them.  There forums you can read others stories or situations anonymously or also comment and give feedback.  You can also write your own story and/ or situation and receive feedback.  I felt so much less isolated.

I also joined phone line support groups. This proved invaluable. I phoned into meetings a few times a week.  Talking with other women who experienced the same thing.  Different keypads on the phone muted and un-muted the phone and the meetings were highly structured so that one person spoke at a time.  At the end everyone got a chance to speak.

Every woman that I grew to know on those phone lines told me that he would come back for me one day. They said, “they all do.” They all used their term “Hoover.”

 Hoovering is a technique that is named after the Hoover vacuum cleaner, and is used by Narcissists (and other manipulative people) in order to “suck” their victims back into a relationship with them. Hoovering is often done after the silent treatment is given or the victim has left them.

I protested,” not this one he threatened the police on me and apparently made good on it, my local police notified me that although I wasn’t in any trouble, I was asked not to contact him again. That it wasn’t a restraining order but that it would be considered harassment if I did.

The women all insisted, “he’ll be back.”

And they were right.

_______________________________

A year and a half later,  it was Valentines Day evening.  I wasn’t doing much.  Watching TV,  when I heard a knock at the door.  I pulled the door open and there he stood.

My heart dropped.

I never ever expected to see him again.  He had a box of chocolates and a card in hand.  I had done a ton of recovery work but nothing had prepared me for this.

Well aren’t you going to invite me in?”

As if reflexively, by some unseen force  I opened the door.  It felt that way, because I felt afraid and yet I also felt hypnotized by him, unable to stop myself from opening the door.   There’s something powerful that is created in these trauma bonds they work so hard that form with you in the beginning.

Trauma bond was a term first created by Patrick Carnes used to describe “the misuse of fear, excitement, sexual feelings, and sexual physiology to entangle another person.”

A simpler and more encompassing definition is that traumatic bonding is: 

“a strong emotional attachment between an abused person and his or her abuser, formed as a result of the cycle of violence.”

I’m pretty sure that  Dracula was a supernatural Narcissist who used trauma bonds on his bitches too.

After I let him in, he initially hugged me but quickly his hands fell and tried to put the moves on me and I realized what he had come for.  All the recovery work was not lost.  I quickly led him to the door, thanked him for the chocolate, and shut and locked it after he left.  He looked quite surprised.  I even surprised myself.  I threw the chocolate out later.   My body did respond to him that night but I never said a thing and I never have.

Body Betrayal

When people survive repeated sexual assault or abuse, their body often betrays them by responding to their abuser by getting aroused and/or with an orgasm.  Researchers David Finkelhor and Kersti Yllo found that some women in their study reported that they had experienced pleasure during the rapes, particularly in cases of repeated rape. They write that this appears to be an “adaptive response” that makes repeated rape more survivable (1985 photo pg  125).

Asking him to leave, rather than falling for the trap of thinking that because my body was responding that it meant somehow we were “meant to be.” This was a huge moment of success for me.  I had ushered out the monster and ushered in, the infancy of self-care.


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